National Grid is proposing to repower the E.F. Barrett Power Station, a nearly 60-year-old facility on Barnum’s Channel.
Although still in the early stages, the potential plan was outlined publicly by National Grid representatives at a meeting at Lincoln Orens Middle School on March 4. The plan calls for a limited opening of what would be called the Island Park Energy Center in 2017 and a full opening in 2019, followed shortly thereafter by the shuttering and removal of the Barrett Station. National Grid will submit the plan to the Long Island Power Authority this spring for approval, and anticipates a decision by the fall.
The new energy center, which would be located on the same property as the Barrett Station, would consist of combined cycle turbines producing between 560 and 650 megawatts, and — if included in the final plan — simple cycle turbines producing up to 330 megawatts. It would produce a maximum of approximately 940 MW, nearly 300 more than the Barrett Station can produce, and would use natural gas as its primary fuel, with low-sulfur diesel as backup. National Grid pledged that the new station would reduce emission rates while improving reliability.
The project would be licensed under the New York State Public Service Law, which requires a certain level of environmental compatibility before the construction and operation of electrical facilities is authorized. The project would also require approval by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Chris Corrado, National Grid’s environmental services manager, said that timely repowering of the Barrett Station is a necessity for reliable electric production in the area. “A lot of it has to do with aging infrastructure,” he said. “We can keep these [stations] running we like to think forever, but in reality, these stations were built with a 30-, maybe 40-year lifespan.”